Series-long and individual race consistency paid off for 19 year old Buddy Kofoid as he became the first driver to win a second round of USAC Indiana Midget Week 2021 and take the overall series points lead as Chris Windom pulls out of Feature and out of series title contention.
I69 – Gas City speedway played host to 34 USAC Midgets for the penultimate round of the Indiana Midget Week mini-series, within the NOS Energy Drink National series.
Moorseville, North Carolina’s Ethan Mitchell lapped the semi-banked quarter mile quickest in 12.191 seconds. Night 5 winner Corey Day, Emerson Axsom, Night 3 winner Logan Seavey and Daison Presley the next four fastest.
Ex-Pat Kiwi Glenn Waterman of Christchurch now residing in Indiana timed 32nd fastest in his older Beast-Gaerte Chevy while fellow countryman, 17 year old Travis Buckley qualified one spot ahead, still gaining experience at every new track outing.
New Zealand Midget Champion Hayden Williams timed 25th fastest. Coming into the round Williams, in his BSL Team Bullet by Spike – BB7 Esslinger, was series equal best tied with Brian Carber on 35 cars passed so far in 6 events. A badge of honour in many ways, yet equally a sign of a quality car-and-driver combo struggling to find speed early, when USAC’s unique format so heavily demands a strong qualification result.
Justin Grant, Trey Gropp and Cannon McIntosh winners their 10-Lap heat races from the front rows and Kaylee Bryson winning hers from row two. The Kiwi cars missing the top 4 transfer position and having to race their way into the Feature via the Semi-feature.
Although fastest to time trial, Mitchell’s 6th place heat finish saw him start on the front of the Semi. He failed to transfer from that race too finishing 10th, 4 positions shy. However would start the feature on the back row receiving a provisional starting spot.
Seavey going on to win the 12-Lap race ahead of fellow National Series Midget Champions; Jerry Coons Jnr., Tanner Thorson and Windom. Williams and Clauson Marshal #39BC driver Cole Bodine also making the points scoring race.
Jason McDougal earned pole position with his combined 10th in qual., 3rd in heat results. Penngrove, Californian Kofoid on the outside of the front row after 8th in qual. and securing 4th in his heat by mere feet. Brenham Crouch, Pursley, Axsom and Day occupying rows 2 and 3 of the 30-Lap Feature.
Kofoid took to the point to lead the 24-Car field in the opening laps until Justin grant’s RMS team car slowed on track. He went to the work area and then back on track and joined the rear of the race only to once again slow. This time leaving the lights green, however Chris Windom half spun as a result of a coming together with Tanner Thorson in turn 3. Jerry Coons Jnr. had nowhere to go but into Windom with William’s and Bryant Wiedeman in the same predicament. Windom restarting, the rest out of the race.
It was the ex-New Zealand Sprintcar Champions Kofoid who led the pack to the green flag with Axsom working his way to a clear 2nd place. McDougal, Pursley and Cannon McIntosh fought for 3rd as the race crossed the halfway point.
McDougal broke free into 3rd ahead of Pursley and McIntosh who in turn battled hard enough to sacrifice car speed for track position resulting in Seavey, in the NZ designed King Chassis racing his way into the mix. Day then joined the fray.
With 10 laps to go Kofoid was a massive 3.5 seconds ahead of McDougal who was a second further ahead of Axsom, then Seavey in 4th a full 2 seconds farther back.
Second in Midget Week points Windom was not up to speed after his earlier crash and returned to the pits 8 laps from the end and in 20th hurting his chances of series triumph.
In the final laps Kofoid stuck to the top line as he had all race and enjoyed a 2.5 second lead over McDougal, with McDougal a similar margin ahead of Axsom for 2nd place. As Kofoid crossed the line to win McDougal pulled off the track as the left front corner of his Robert Dalby Motorsport Midget lost its integrity, folding in on itself and destroying and iron clad runner-up finish.
The waving chequered and yellow flags declaring an end to the race with Axsom gifted 2nd and Seavey an unexpected edition to the podium. Pursley, McIntosh, Thomas Jr., Day, Thorson from grid 20, Bryson and opening night winner Thomas Meseraull rounding out the top ten.
“The top was kind of the best line obviously and everyone going to naturally migrate up there.
“Pumped to be the first repeat winner and to get [win] number four this year [in USAC Midgets].” Said a chuffed Keith Kunz Motorsport driver Kofoid in the winner’s circle.
Going into the final round Kofoid is only 3 points ahead of Pursley and any of the top 7 cars in with a chance of claiming series honours.
Indiana Midget Week Points (After Round 7 of 8)
6-Kevin Thomas Jr.-397
The 8th and final round is at Kokomo Speedway in Kokomo, 12th June.
For live and on demand footage visit https://www.floracing.com/